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Place Names arts and culture project

Bringing research, arts, culture and community together

The Place Names program is funded through the Department of Communications & The Arts. We have five years funding which allows us to work in a ‘place’ for approximately six months at a time.

Beginning in 2017 Place Names will build on Professor Len Collard’s well established Placenames research with the aim to facilitate deeper engagement between Noongar people and the non-Aboriginal community. The focus will be to first learn the Noongar place names within a town and their meanings. Then through a range of creative activities and art forms, we will develop collective expressions of place that are community driven. A variety of contemporary and traditional artistic approaches will be employed through the process and in the celebratory creative outcomes. The final community productions could range from visual art, weaving and textile pieces, community theatre, dance, song, photography or a collaboration of these and more.

Place Names – the research

Place names in the southwest of Western Australia are commonly derived from Noongar, the Aboriginal language of the region. However, the story of these place names is yet to be fully appreciated. As Noongar language is the basis of geographical nomenclature for many names for towns, localities and landmarks in the southwest, current, comprehensive and critical research and analysis of Noongar language documentation is required to interpret and reveal the ancient meanings of these names.

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